Believe the best of your spouse and listen to what they are really trying to say. Communication in marriage can be purely topical, talking about the facts of a situation. However often the topical message can be received with relational glasses and unintentionally impart something about your husband or wife's value to you. Be careful about the message you send.

What do you think you are talking about?

Roy and I used to get frustrated when our communication would end up in miscommunication. We often were bewildered when we would try and work out what had gone wrong. We frequently got our wires crossed and got ‘static’ on the line. Roy felt I was misquoting him while I would remain convinced of what I believed he had said. Old wounds would also feed into the miscommunication creating more misunderstanding.  It’s possible that you too may be frustrated because your discussions end up in arguments and you don’t have a clue why they always reach that point. Did you know that it is possible that you are not really talking about the topic you think you are talking about?

The following revelation helped us to untangle the mess we made of our communication and start understanding each other correctly. A ‘topical’ statement filtered through ‘relational’ glasses can be interpreted as something entirely different. You may think you are talking about the house, the car, an item of clothing or a meal and your spouse may believe you are talking about his or her value, worth or lack of ability.

Topical communication is talking about particular themes; this includes not only neutral objects but can include talking about the kids or where to go on holiday.  You may think you are solely relating on a topical level but you can be sure that other depths of communication are being touched on.

Arguments rarely are the result of the topic – they are usually the result of a relational message that has been received.

#marriagetip

  • If you start arguing stop and ask your spouse what they heard (N.B. not what you said but what they understood).
  • If you have hurt them don’t justify yourself apologise.
  • Explain that you were relating on the topical level and that they are very much valued.
  • Give each other permission to ask for clarification. (When you said “this” I understood “that” is that what you intended to communicate?).
  • Trust each other when they explain their heart and give up resentment.

Colossians 2:2-3 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love,
so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding,
in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Roy and Lainey Hitchman

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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